Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Hoang Quan has hailed the Italian Defence Minister’s visit as opening up a new chapter of cooperation between the two countries, especially between the two defence ministries.

At his reception for the visiting Italian minister on January 12, Quan said both countries have enjoyed growing political and diplomatic ties in recent time. They need to foster their economic, trade and investment cooperation in the coming years.

He expressed his belief that the upcoming visit to Italy by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong will help expand bilateral cooperation further.

Minister Giampaolo Di Paola agreed that Trong’s future visit will further cement Italy-Vietnam relations and bring them to a strategic partnership level while noting that his visit reflected interests Italy gave to Vietnam.

Di Paola said he was impressed by HCM City’s robust development, and potential cooperation opportunities it has offered, which he knew are highly valued by the Italians currently doing business in the city.

He suggested that both countries should carry out a long-term investment strategy in the coming time to exploit their increasing multidimensional ties.

The same day, the Italian Minister and his entourage made a tour of the historical Cu Chi tunnel system.

Earlier on January 10, Minister Giampaolo Di Paola had a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and held talks with Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh.

Di Paola was the first defence minister of Italy to visit Vietnam since the two countries set up their defence ties.

He affirmed in the visit that Italy is willing to partner with Vietnam in defence, especially in shipbuilding and training.-VNA